Helen Spiers

Helen SpiersPhD Student
King’s College London

+44 (0) 20 7848 0748

Helen Spiers is a final year PhD student at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience’s MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London. The focus of Helen’s PhD has been to characterize life-course epigenetic dynamics across multiple tissue types, with a particular focus on DNA methylation changes associated with human brain development. Helen first became interested in epigenetics whilst studying Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at Oxford University (2005 – 2009). After graduating in 2009 with an MBiochem Helen temporarily worked as a Medical Writer (2009 – 2011), before she began her research at King’s College London.

Joana Viana

joana-pic3Research Fellow
University of Exeter Medical School / University of Exeter School of Biosciences


Joana graduated in Cell and Molecular Biology at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, in 2011. She completed an MSc in Neuroscience at King’s College London in 2012. During this period, she developed a research project under the supervision of Dr Ruth Pidsley and Prof Jonathan Mill. The primary aim of her project was to access global methylation differences in post-mortem brain samples from schizophrenia patients and controls. From September of 2012 and January 2013 Joana worked as a research technician with the Psychiatric Epigenetics Group at King’s College London. She completed her PhD under the supervision of Prof Jonathan Mill and Dr Eduarda Santos in modelling epigenetic responses to schizophrenia-associated environmental risks and antipsychotic medication. She is currently a Postdoc working on the MATRICS project researching Disruptive Behaviour Disorder.

To view Joana’s CV please click here.

Baocong Xia

Baocong XiaPhD Student

+44 (0)20 7848 0629

MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre/ MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology

Baocong graduated with a BSc in Neuroscience from King’s College London in 2013, before undertaking a Master’s degree in Neuroimaging at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) where he investigated the test/retest reliability of diffusion imaging measure in patients with chronic pain under the supervision of Dr Matthew Howard. Baocong is currently working towards a PhD in the MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King’s College London under the supervision of Dr Chloe Wong and Dr Robert Hindges. His project aims to investigate the role of epigenetic mechanisms in neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Joe Burrage

Joe BurrageResearch Technician/Manager

+44 (0) 1392 408223

Joe graduated with a degree in Genetics from the University of Leicester in 2008. During this period he also undertook a 12 month industrial placement with AstraZeneca’s genetic support unit at Alderley Edge to develop DNA methylation analysis procedures. He followed this with a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology under the supervision of Dr Irina Stancheva. During his PhD Joe investigated the somatic cell functions of chromatin remodelling ATPase LSH. His epigenetic research interests were diverted when he revealed a novel role for LSH in DNA damage repair, work which was published in the Journal of Cell Biology in 2012. During his PhD Joe also participated in a number of industrial placements with CellCentric working on a range of projects including the organisation of the 25 Years of Epigenetics conference at the University of Cambridge. Joe has now returned to Epigenetic research as a research technician to support the work of Professor Jonathan Mill’s epigenetic research group at the University of Exeter.

Bethany Crawford

Agnes Kepa

Agnes KepaResearch Technician
King’s College London

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 5271

Agnes is currently working for the Epigenetics core service lab at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. She completed her PhD in Psychiatric Genetics at the SGDP Centre in 2014, where her main focus was tofunctionally characterise brain-specific transcription factors. Throughout her PhD she became interested in DNA methylation and epigenomic profiling in neurodevelopmental disorders. Agnes joined Epigenetics Group in 2015 where she employs cutting-edge methods to assess DNA methylomic changes associated with disease in a wide variety of samples.

Olivia Knox